Geely’s EV brand scores $500m investment led by CATL and Intel

A Zeekr 001 electric car at the Auto Shanghai show on April 19: Geely wants to turn the brand into one of the world’s top 3 EV players.   © Reuters

SHUNSUKE TABETA, Nikkei staff writer | China

BEIJING — A luxury electric vehicle unit of China’s Geely has partnered with top EV battery maker CATL and other investors to accelerate the development of new technologies.

Zeekr Intelligent Technology, which operates Geely’s premium EV brand, signed strategic investment partnerships with five companies including Intel Capital, Zhejiang Geely Holding Group announced Friday. The partners will gain a 5.6% stake in Zeekr in exchange for $500 million.

In addition to the investment, the partners will provide Zeekr with expertise in related fields, Geely said.

Intel Capital, the venture arm of chipmaker Intel, has invested in emerging technologies around the world, and is expected to contribute its self-driving technology know-how. CATL, formally Contemporary Amperex Technology Co., could contribute cutting-edge battery technology.

The other partners in the deal are video streaming service Bilibili, asset management company Boyu Capital, and Cathay Fortune Group, a leading producer of EV battery materials. Geely aims to accelerate the development of an EV equipped with autonomous technology with their cooperation.

Zeekr unveiled its 001 EV at the Auto Shanghai trade show in April. Delivery of the vehicles, which carry a price tag from about 300,000 yuan ($46,300), is to start by the end of the year.

Zeekr aims to launch 6 models over three years, and to become one of the world’s top 3 EV companies with 650,000 units in sales in 2025.

Tesla, the leader in luxury electric vehicles, posted record profits in the second quarter this year. However, the company is facing challenges in China, the world’s biggest EV market, as local rivals ramp up production. 

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